Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals
A rough August was the only thing keeping Lynn from a more sparkling 2012 finish. The fear of his IP jump will temper your opponents' excitement. With adjustments versus lefty bats and a more effective third offering, he could be bound for an even bigger step this year. It's not as if this team can't cultivate hurlers.
I'm still behind the wheel
Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays
Adding a cutter - the recent kingmaker for pitching breakouts - to an already enticing profile should produce more strikeouts. Few on this list match his profit potential.
Jason Hammel, Baltimore Orioles
I'll gladly continue serving as president of his fan club. His 2012 was a valid reconstruction, not a lottery win. Let others' doubt allow him to drop into your lap for a near repeat.
Marco Estrada, Milwaukee Brewers
His bang for ADP buck may not be as big in many circles. That second half was lucky (HR/FB) but reflective of what he can offer over a full campaign. That historic command rate won't sustain for a whole season, and the jump in frames might wear him out a little. Still, his inducement of infield cans of corn at an above-average rate should quell some of his fly concerns, and you can count on his K's.
Shaun Marcum, New York Mets
Health? Unstable. Skills? The opposite. The Metropolitans are quietly churning out value SPs in recent years. Take advantage.
Derek Holland, Texas Rangers
Notice a theme here - a lot of arms in hitter-friendly ambiences; children, this is where bargains come from. Homer allowance has plagued Holland, but he's another candidate for productive LOB% recoil. Shiny peripherals and indicators won't always overcome gopheritis, but few options similarly priced options boast the combo of his foundation and age: the frequently coveted 26 with experience.
Edwin Jackson, Chicago Cubs
This innings stalwart has adapted to playing in unfavorable parks for hurlers. His road splits last year say he'll miss Nationals Park, but staying in the Senior Circuit says his big K/9 rebound has a better chance of sticking. E-Jax has walked more than 3.35 per nine just once in the last five years, and that dominance uptick in the second half may mean more dynamic innings await.
Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies
Kendrick's presence surprised me, even. He was gold versus lefty sticks last year and moved up nearly across the board in the spots on which we hone for breakout signs. The righty pounded the zone, learning to work effectively along the black thanks to his cutter. If this is his ceiling, it's still an enjoyable level.
Honorable bargains: Brett Anderson and Tommy Milone, Oakland Athletics; Matt Harrison, Texas Rangers; Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers; Brandon McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks; James McDonald and Wandy Rodriguez, Pittsburgh Pirates; Mike Fiers, Milwaukee Brewers; Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees
Stay tuned for the next two installments of the Starting Pitcher primer.
For more SP coverage, go to our Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide!
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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